Cold War Kids – Mine Is Yours (Passion Pit Remix)

How far must I go to gain respect?
Umm well, its kind of simple, just remain your own
Or youll be crazy sad and alone.
Industry rule number four thousand and eighty,
Record company people are shadyyy!! – Tribe Called Quest (Check The Rhime)

I’ve been in the music industry for a long time now and it seems like every 4 or 5 months theres something strange going on when people lose sight of their plans in the face of opportunism. It use to bother me knowing that I worked in a world where no one trust each other and people only have honor loyalty through contracts. That was the old me though, I no longer let any of that bother me because it’s simply about protecting yourself.

You see there are three types of people in the music business. People who care about art and want to make great music, people who want to make money and those who just want to be famous. There are however hybrid types who value all three but just be wary of the extremists. When it comes down to the wire those cats will act on their obsessions and destroy all in their path to get it. This may sound discouraging but if your trying to come up in the business its very difficult to avoid these people so just remember to protect yourself. You don’t have to think about it too much, that’s no good because it will take away from your creativity and affect the vibe but just outline your interest, be strong about it and don’t let people take credit for your work.

At the end of the day, no one who plays dirty gets away with it and they do pay the price in one way or another. I’m posting this song today because I don’t play in that game and when it comes to my close friends we’re coming up together regardless of the circus around us…

So if ya heart stop beatin’ I’ll go back in time
Make your heart beat again real ni*&@s till the end
We try to succeed ni$&@s smoke weed
Contemplated, dedicated
To real ni#*@ that could relate it…” – CNN (Live On Live On)

I’ve known some of the people I work with for over 15 years and its always been about the music, nothing else. I’ve been very fortunate to receive love and help from honest people who don’t expect anything in return and that’s what it’s about. It takes a while to understand the impact that has on you but in the end it changes your approach and I’m grateful for it because loyalty is hard to come by these days, so hard that sometime you can’t even recognize when you have it…

What is mine is yours…”

Cold War Kids – Mine Is Yours (Passion Pit Remix)

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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Smokey Robinson et CNN

I certainly chose a bad time to stay in last night, as Capone and Noreaga both stopped by CV Lounge where Scram Jones holds it down every friday, and where you can usually find me as well.  My dude Incredible Cutts was there too, CNN’s official DJ and also one of the most genuine dudes I’ve met in this business.  Anyway, with The War Report 2 coming out in a few weeks (July 13th), I figured I would go back and touch on one of the many samples that helped create the original.  In my mind The War Report is not only a classic album, but also a project that changed the direction of East Coast hip hop when it was released in ’97.  In the years leading up to it’s release, rap had started to get over consumed with surrealistic and mostly fictional mafia tales, known to many as mafioso rap. Capone and Noreaga brought it back to gritty street narratives, and unapologetic stories of drugs and guns.  The beats, the mixes, and the lyrics throughout the album have a rugged feel that won’t ever be matched by any present day project.

If your heart stopped beating, I’ll go back in time.  Make your heart beat again, real niggas ’till the end…”

My favorite record on the album (ok, maybe one of my 3 favorites) is “Live On, Live Long”, which is Noreaga’s dedication to his partner.  Rap records with this level of raw emotion simply can’t be found anymore.  The bulk of the beat is built off of the loop from the beginning of “Who’s Gonna Take The Blame” by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles.  The quarter bar taken from the 0:25 mark is used sometimes at the tail end of the loop, along with the Smokey vocal riff at 1:11.  This record has never lost it’s edge with me, and I don’t think it ever will… it’s just too real.

Smokey Robinson & The Miracles – Who’s Gonna Take The Blame

CNN – Live On, Live Long

via Kevin Casey Music


Kevin Casey Music Presents Live From New York (1994-2001)

Man look at these suckers. I ain’t no rapper, I’m a hustler. It just so happens I know how to rap.”

In the beginning Hip Hop was about b-boying, djing, graffiti and emceeing. The drug game of the late 1980’s changed the ghetto so, it was only natural that it would change the music as well. Additionally, Hip Hop itself became quite profitable and in turn created an opportunity for a lot of trapped young artists to leave a life of crime, danger and limits. I’ve come to realize that people perform at the highest level when their backs are against the wall. The extreme conditions and adversity that came from living in the hood was transferred into a musical energy and ‘realness’ that was able to touch and reach an entire world. It was survival of the fittest and to be an emcee in the 90’s you had to hold your own, no exceptions.

You see me all my life I had to sell drugs, while you grew up with straight nerds, I grew up with thugs.”

Why the brief history? Well, if you want to appreciate New York City’s mid to late 90’s Hip Hop you’ll have to realize that these guys aren’t just talking loud and being aggressive for no reason, they’re representing an attitude one needed to have in order to survive and stay sane in the concrete jungle that was NYC in the 90’s. Look at it this way, you don’t go into a battlefield to put your gun down, read a book, have some tea and talk about where you want to summer next year. You’re going to be screaming and hollering, cold, alert and focused at all costs; you’re going to be aggressive and you’re going to be challenging that next man if he’s trying to take you out. Like I said, it was a concrete jungle and survival of the fittest was the type of mentality that applied, “only the strong survive”

That was the mindset in NYC because prior and even during Guiliani that was the reality. I’m not praising it or saying it was correct but if you want to appreciate the music for what it is without having actually experienced that lifestyle, then you have to listen with some perspective. So when you hear lyrics that sound somewhat extreme, violent, and brutal, understand that that is just the top layer and the language only serves to represent issues that went much deeper than the words being used to represent them. Lastly, the only way to escape an extreme circumstance sometimes is to develop an extreme type of mentality. Most people don’t have to deal with such challenges in life so it may be hard to relate. For the sake of this mixtape I suggest you try, it will be worth it.

With that said, we exclusively present a mixtape that captures that time in New York City better then anything I’ve yet to hear – Kevin Casey Music Presents: Live From New York. Officially this is a mixtape but the editing and thought process displayed on this tape will make you think you are listening to an extremely well produced album. The transitions and details from song to song are flawless and carefully crafted. It’s not often a mixtape displays this level of depth with no compromise of quality. Kevin Casey has done his research to provide listeners with an expansive yet refined taste for the best NYC had to offer. Pretty much all classic mainstream and underground NYC hits are represented. However, only the best verses from the wide spectrum made the cut, making the listening experience easy and extremely entertaining. Having grown up listening to this music, I can tell you this was no easy task. Rappers were hungry back in the day and there were a lot of good verses but Casey did in fact manage to narrow it down to the best. All the rappers you hear on this tape are at their absolute prime and deliver their lyrics with the energy and hostility of the street. Like the time it represents, this tape is hardcore, gritty, challenging and extremely entertaining. This mixtape is available as a free download at and was made for the sole purpose of spreading good music. It’s been a while since New York City’s golden era was revisited with such thoughtfulness and sincerity; this is truly worth the listen. All that said, let me end this post like the tape begins:

New York will… not… lose… ever!

Live From New York (Intro)

Live From New York (Intro)